Canine and Feline Vestibular Disease

What would you think if your old dog developed a sudden head tilt, seemed unco-ordinated and trouble controlling his facial muscles? Most people would think that their dog had had a stroke. Fortunately, strokes are rare in dogs and cats but something that looks similar, vestibular disease, is very common. Vestibular disease occurs when there is a problem in the body’s balance system. The balance center has 2 components–one is in the middle ear and the other is in the… Continue reading

Dry Food and Health Problems in Cats

When I went to veterinary school years ago, I was taught the best thing to feed cats was dry food to keep their teeth healthy. Dry food was convenient. You could leave out large bowls of it for the cats to eat all day if they wanted. Now almost 30 years later, things have changed. High carbohydrate dry foods have been linked to obesity and diabetes. Research has shown that cats fed exclusively dry food have shorter lives than their… Continue reading

Hyperthyroidism in Cats

Hyperthyroidism is very common in middle aged to older cats. It occurs when the thyroid gland produces too much thyroid hormone. This seems to be diet related. Researchers have determined 2 things related to the diet of cats and hyperthyroidism. The first is that cats that consume large amounts of commercial fish-flavored cat food were more likely to develop the disease and the second was that limiting the amount of iodine in a cat’s diet often returned it to normal… Continue reading

Summer Diet Dangers for Your Pet

There are a lot of great fresh things to eat in the summer and although I am all for fruits and veggies for dogs ( 10 % of the diet maximum), there are some summer foods that can cause problems. Corn on the cob is one food I do not recommend for dogs. Dogs love this as it usually has butter and salt on it and they love to chew the cobs. The problem is that some dogs chew them… Continue reading

Barking Dogs

As a small animal practitioner one question I am frequently asked is “ How do I get my dog to stop barking?” A better question would be: “ Are there any natural methods to prevent my dog from barking excessively?” All dogs should bark. It is their job to let you know when someone strange is in the house or yard, however, continuous barking can be an annoyance to the pet owner if it occurs at night or to the… Continue reading

Household Dangers for Your Pet

Most people can think of many dangers that might lurk outdoors for their pets but many people do not realize that there are many indoor dangers for their pets as well. Commonly used products like bleach, all-purpose cleaners and other disinfectants can cause chemical burns on pets’ skin and can be toxic if ingested. Pets often come into contact with cleaners after the bottle spills on them or they walk on a freshly washed floor or bathtub. Dogs or cats… Continue reading

Itchy Scratchy Pets

In the summer there are a lot of itchy scratchy dogs and cats. The number one reason most owners seek veterinary attention is skin problems and most of these are dogs who are continuously scratching and scabby cats. So what causes dogs to be itchy? Parasites–such as fleas, ticks and mites Allergies-flea allergy -atopy or allergic inhalant dermatitis -food allergy Nutrition–poor quality food causes dry itchy skin Behavioural or emotional Fleas are by far the greatest cause of itchy pets.… Continue reading

Obesity in Pets

Obesity is a very common problem in pets. Approximately 40 % of all pets are overweight. This is not just a cosmetic issue with a little extra “fluff”, obesity can be a serious problem. Just like humans, pets that are overweight suffer from illness related to their weight. The extra weight puts stress on all parts of the body. Obese animals are more likely to develop joint and mobility problems, diabetes, cancer, heart disease, breathing difficulties, high blood pressure and… Continue reading

Hypothyroidism in Dogs

Hypothyroidism in dogs is a very common problem. Hypothyroidism occurs when the thyroid gland, a small gland in the neck adjacent to the windpipe, does not produce enough thyroid hormone. The thyroid gland is considered a master gland . It is responsible for producing thyroid hormones which have an effect on many parts of the body, including the skin and hair coat, metabolism, behaviour, attitude and even bone marrow function. In dogs, immune mediated disease and atrophy of the gland… Continue reading

Hip Dysplasia in Dogs

Hip dysplasia is a genetic condition in dogs in which the hip joint does not develop properly. The hip joint is a ball and socket joint. In hip dysplasia either the socket is not properly formed or the ball is not the right shape so there is not a good fit. This leads to instability and causes the soft cartilage of the joint to erode or wear away leading to arthritis. Hip dysplasia can affect one or both hip and… Continue reading

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